Identification of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes from additional tumor antigens is essential for the development of specific immunotherapy of malignant tumors. Neuritin, a recently discovered antigen overexpressed in astrocytoma, is considered to be a promising target for biological therapy. In the present study, we predicted and identified HLA-A2-restricted CTL epitopes from neuritin by using the following four-step procedure: (1) computer-based epitope prediction from the amino acid sequence of neuritin; (2) peptide-binding assay to determine the affinity of the predicted peptide with HLA-A2.1 molecule; (3) stimulation of primary T cell response against the predicted peptides in vitro; and (4) testing of the induced CTLs toward target cells expressing neuritin and HLA-A2.1. The results demonstrated that effectors induced by peptides of neuritin containing residues 13–21, 121–129 and 4–12 could specifically-secrete interferon-γ and lyse target cells. Our results indicate that these peptides are new HLA-A2.1-restricted CTL epitopes, and may serve as valuable tools for astrocytoma immunotherapy.
HLA-A*0201; Cytotoxic T lymphocyte; Epitopes; Neuritin
The aim of this study was to investigate the interrelation between splenic siderotic nodules, hypersplenism and liver function in patients with liver cirrhosis. The splenic enhanced susceptibility-weighted angiography (ESWAN) and conventional magnetic resonance images of 33 patients with liver cirrhosis were retrospectively studied and the ESWAN images were graded. The distribution and prevalence of the image grades for patients with and without hypersplenism were evaluated. In addition, the splenic volume and the distribution of Child-Pugh and albumin scores were compared between patients with and without siderotic nodules, and the correlation between splenic volume and the ESWAN image grades were evaluated in the patients with siderotic nodules. The ESWAN images revealed splenic siderotic nodules in 24 patients. The distribution and prevalence of the ESWAN image grades were demonstrated to be significantly different (P<0.001) between patients with and without hypersplenism. Furthermore, significant differences were observed between patients with and without siderotic nodules with regard to splenic volume and the distribution of Child-Pugh and serum albumin scores (P<0.001). No significant correlation was demonstrated between splenic volume and the ESWAN image grades (P>0.05). In conclusion, a higher prevalence of splenic siderotic nodules (72.7%) was observed using the ESWAN sequence, in comparison with results from previous studies, obtained using the T1-spoiled gradient echo sequence. The presence of splenic siderotic nodules was consistent with the occurrence of hypersplenism and was interrelated with reserved liver function.
spleen; siderotic nodules; magnetic resonance imaging; liver cirrhosis; hypersplenism; thrombocytopenia
We report here that a new superconducting phase with much higher Tc has been found in K intercalated FeSe compound with excess Fe. We successfully grew crystals by precisely controlling the starting amount of Fe. Besides the superconducting (SC) transition at ~30 K, we observed a sharp drop in resistivity and a kink in susceptibility at 44 K. By combining thermodynamic measurements with electron spin resonance (ESR), we demonstrate that this is a new SC transition. Structural analysis unambiguously reveals two phases coexisting in the crystals, which are responsible respectively for the SC transitions at 30 and 44 K. The structural experiments and first-principles calculations consistently indicate that the 44 K SC phase is close to a 122 structure, but with an unexpectedly large c-axis of 18.10 Å. We further find a novel monotonic dependence of the maximum Tc on the separation of neighbouring FeSe layers.
Severe asthma is associated with fixed airway obstruction attributable to inflammation, copious luminal mucus, and increased airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass. Paradoxically, studies demonstrated that the hypertrophic and hyperplastic ASM characteristic of severe asthma has reduced contractile capacity. We compared the G-protein–coupled receptor (GPCR)–induced Ca2+ mobilization and expression of GPCRs and signaling proteins related to procontractile signaling in ASM derived postmortem from subjects who died of nonrespiratory causes, with cells from subjects who died of asthma. Despite the increased or comparable expression of contraction-promoting GPCRs (bradykinin B2 or histamine H1 and protease-activated receptor 1, respectively) in asthmatic ASM cells relative to cells from healthy donors, asthmatic ASM cells exhibited reduced histamine-induced Ca2+ mobilization and comparable responses to bradykinin and thrombin, suggesting a postreceptor signaling defect. Accordingly, the expression of regulator of G-protein signaling–5 (RGS5), an inhibitor of ASM contraction, was increased in cultured, asthmatic ASM cells and in bronchial smooth muscle bundles of both human subjects with asthma and allergen-challenged mice, relative to those of healthy human subjects or naive mice. The overexpression of RGS5 impaired the release of Ca2+ to thrombin, histamine, and carbachol, and reduced the contraction of precision-cut lung slices to carbachol. These results suggest that increased RGS5 expression contributes to decreased myocyte shortening in severe and fatal asthma.
asthma; bronchial smooth muscle; signal transduction; G-protein–coupled receptors
To investigate the effects of melatonin on cellular proliferation and endogenous vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in pancreatic carcinoma cells (PANC-1).
PANC-1 cells were cultured for this study. The secreted VEGF concentration in the culture medium was determined using ELISA method, VEGF production in the tumor cells was detected by immunocytochemistry, and VEGF mRNA expression was determined by RT-PCR.
Higher melatonin concentrations significantly inhibited cellular proliferation, with 1 mmol/L concentration exhibiting the highest inhibitory effect (P<0.01). VEGF concentrations in the cell culture supernatants and intra-cellules were all significantly reduced after melatonin (1 mmol/L) incubation (P<0.05). VEGF mRNA expression decreased markedly in a time-dependent manner during the observation period (P<0.05).
High melatonin concentrations markedly inhibited the proliferation of pancreatic carcinoma cells. The endogenous VEGF expression was also suppressed by melatonin incubation.
Melatonin; VEGF; pancreatic cancer
Chinese bayberry myrica rubra is a very popular fruit in southeastern China. In spite of its wide consumption, no allergies to this fruit have been reported previously. Here we report on a 40-year-old woman suffering from anaphylaxis to Chinese bayberry fruit. Prick-prick skin tests revealed strong reactions to fresh Chinese bayberry fruits as well as to peach, and weaker reactions to some other fruits including apple, melon, and banana. ImmunoCAP analysis revealed identical titers of specific IgE (4.3 kUA/L) to peach extract and its lipid transfer protein (LTP, rPru p 3), which was confirmed by detection of a 9 kD band following immunoblotting. Immunoblot analysis with Chinese bayberry extract gave bands of 22, 45, and 90 kD, but no 9 kD band was recognized. There was also no evidence of LTP recognition for loquat (36 kD) or melon (24 kD). This first report of a severe allergic reaction to Chinese bayberry fruit in a patient with LTP-mediated peach allergy indicates that other as yet unidentified non-pollen related fruit allergens are involved in this new severe fruit allergy.
Chinese bayberry; Fruit allergy; Anaphylaxis
In the title compound, C19H19ClO4, the dihedral angle between the mean planes of the benzene rings is 126.8 (1)°. Weak C—H⋯O interactions are observed.
This study was designed to determine the levels of survivin expression and identify its clinical significance as a prognostic factor for stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A total of 210 cases of stage III NSCLC were collected and the expression levels of survivin and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) in tumor tissues were investigated using immunohistochemistry (IHC). The medical records of the patients were reviewed to determine the association with clinical course. Of the 210 NSCLC tissues, 112 (53.3%) cases demonstrated positive expression of survivin protein. Coexpression of survivin and VEGF-A was identified. The 5-year survival rate of patients with positive survivin expression was significantly lower compared with the survivin-negative cancer patients (P<0.05). The expression of survivin in NSCLC correlated with tumor size. Survivin and VEGF-A were independent prognostic factors of stage III NSCLC. Survivin protein is a valuable marker of prognosis in stage III NSCLC patients.
survivin; VEGF-A; immunohistochemistry; prognostic marker
Airway remodeling is characterized by airway wall thickening, subepithelial fibrosis, increased smooth muscle mass, angiogenesis and increased mucous glands, which can lead to a chronic and obstinate asthma with pulmonary function depression. In the present study, we investigated whether the astragalus extract inhibits airway remodeling in a mouse asthma model and observed the effects of astragalus extract on the transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)/Smad signaling pathway in ovalbumin-sensitized mice. Mice were sensitized and challenged by ovalbumin to establish a model of asthma. Treatments included the astragalus extract and budesonide. Lung tissues were obtained for hematoxylin and eosin staining and Periodic acid-Schiff staining after the final ovalbumin challenge. Levels of TGF-β1 were assessed by immunohistology and ELISA, levels of TGF-β1 mRNA were measured by RT-PCR, and levels of P-Smad2/3 and T-Smad2/3 were assessed by western blotting. Astragalus extract and budesonide reduced allergen-induced increases in the thickness of bronchial airway and mucous gland hypertrophy, goblet cell hyperplasia and collagen deposition. Levels of lung TGF-β1, TGF-β1 mRNA and P-Smad2/3 were significantly reduced in mice treated with astragalus extract and budesonide. Astragalus extract improved asthma airway remodeling by inhibiting the expression of the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway, and may be a potential drug for the treatment of patients with a severe asthma airway.
astragalus plant; airway remodeling; asthma; trans-forming growth factor-β1/Smad signaling pathway
Regulators of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins are scaffolds that control diverse signaling pathways by modulating signalosome formation and by accelerating the GTPase activity of heterotrimeric G proteins. Although expression of many RGS proteins is relatively low in quiescent cells, transcriptional and post-translational responses to environmental cues regulate both their abundance and activity. We found previously that RGS13, one of the smallest RGS proteins in the family, inhibited cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA)-induced gene expression through interactions with the transcription factor cAMP-response element-binding (CREB) protein. Here, we show that PKA activation also leads to increased steady-state RGS13 expression through RGS13 phosphorylation, which inhibits RGS13 protein degradation. RGS13 turnover was significantly reduced in cells stimulated with cAMP, which was reversed by expression of the PKA-specific inhibitory peptide PKI. RGS13 phosphorylation was diminished by mutation of an N-terminal Thr residue (T41) identified as a phosphorylation site by mass spectrometry. Mutation of Thr41 in RGS13 to Ala (T41A) reduced steady-state RGS13 levels and its ability to inhibit M2 muscarinic receptor-mediated Erk phosphorylation compared with wild-type RGS13 by attenuating the protective effect of cAMP on RGS13 degradation. RGS13 underwent ubiquitylation, indicating that it is a likely target of the proteasome. These studies are the first to demonstrate post-translational mechanisms controlling the expression of RGS13. Stabilization of RGS13 through PKA-mediated phosphorylation could enhance RGS13 functions, providing negative feedback regulation that promotes cellular desensitization.
RGS proteins; cAMP; protein kinase; phosphorylation
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has a high incidence of cervical micrometastases and sometimes metastasizes contralaterally because of the rich lymphatic intercommunications relative to submucosal plexus of oral cavity that freely communicate across the midline, and it can facilitate the spread of neoplastic cells to any area of the neck consequently. Clinical and histopathologic factors continue to provide predictive information to contralateral neck metastases (CLNM) in OSCC, which determine prophylactic and adjuvant treatments for an individual patient. This review describes the predictive value of clinical-histopathologic factors, which relate to primary tumor and cervical lymph nodes, and surgical dissection and adjuvant treatments. In addition, the indications for elective contralateral neck dissection and adjuvant radiotherapy (aRT) and strategies for follow-up are offered, which is strongly focused by clinicians to prevent later CLNM and poor prognosis subsequently.
oral squamous cell carcinoma; lymph node metastasis; contralateral neck metastasis; neck dissection; head and neck cancer
Helicobacter pylori persists deep in the human gastric mucus layer in a harsh, nutrient-poor environment. Survival under these conditions depends on the ability of this human pathogen to invoke starvation/stress responses when needed. Unlike many bacteria, H. pylori lacks starvation/stress-responding alternative sigma factors, suggesting an additional mechanism might have evolved in this bacterium. H. pylori produces polyphosphate, however, the role and target of polyphosphate during starvation/stress have not been identified. Here we show that polyphosphate accumulated during nutrient starvation directly targets transcriptional machinery by binding to the principal sigma factor in H. pylori, uncovering a novel mechanism in microbial stress response. A positively-charged-Lys-rich region at the NTD of the major sigma factor is identified as the binding region for polyphosphate (region P) in vivo and in vitro, revealing a new element in sigma 70 family proteins. This interaction is biologically significant because mutant strains defective in the interaction undergo premature cell death during starvation. We suggested that polyphosphate is a second messenger employed by H. pylori to mediate gene expression during starvation/stress. The putative “region P” is present in sigma factors of other human pathogens, suggesting that the uncovered interaction might be a general strategy employed by other pathogens.
Helicobacter pylori; Polyphosphate; Sigma factor; Stress responses; Bacterial gene regulation
AIM: To evaluate the esophageal motility and abnormal acid and bile reflux incidence in cirrhotic patients without esophageal varices (EV).
METHODS: Seventy-eight patients with liver cirrhosis without EV confirmed by upper gastroesophageal endoscopy and 30 healthy control volunteers were prospectively enrolled in this study. All the patients were evaluated using a modified protocol including Child-Pugh score, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, esophageal manometry, simultaneous ambulatory 24-h esophageal pH and bilirubin monitoring. All the patients and volunteers accepted the manometric study.
RESULTS: In the liver cirrhosis group, lower esophageal sphincter pressure (LESP, 15.32 ± 2.91 mmHg), peristaltic amplitude (PA, 61.41 ± 10.52 mmHg), peristaltic duration (PD, 5.32 ± 1.22 s), and peristaltic velocity (PV, 5.22 ± 1.11 cm/s) were all significantly abnormal in comparison with those in the control group (P < 0.05), and LESP was negatively correlated with Child-Pugh score. The incidence of reflux esophagitis (RE) and pathologic reflux was 37.18% and 55.13%, respectively (vs control, P < 0.05). And the incidence of isolated abnormal acid reflux, bile reflux and mixed reflux was 12.82%, 14.10% and 28.21% in patients with liver cirrhosis without EV.
CONCLUSION: Cirrhotic patients without EV presented esophageal motor disorders and mixed acid and bile reflux was the main pattern; the cirrhosis itself was an important causative factor.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Liver cirrhosis; Esophageal varices; Esophageal manometry; pH; Bilirubin; Monitoring
C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) plays an important role in determining the metastatic potential of non-small cell lung cancer. In order to elucidate the effect and mechanism of CXCR4 in tumor angiogenesis we evaluated the clinical significance of CXCR4, phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (P-STAT3), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in patients with completely resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A total of 208 cases of resected NSCLC were collected, and expression of CXCR4, P-STAT3 and VEGF-A in tumor tissue was investigated using immunohistochemistry (IHC). We reviewed the patient clinical records to determine the association of the expression of these proteins with the clinical course of the disease. Expression of CXCR4, P-STAT3 and VEGF-A was detected in 56.3, 46.2 and 51.9% of the samples, respectively. We observed co-expression between CXCR4, P-STAT3 and VEGF-A. Using multivariate analysis, the expression levels of CXCR4 and VEGF-A were identified as independent prognostic factors that affected overall survival. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that CXCR4, P-STAT3 and VEGF-A expression may play a role in tumor progression and angiogenesis of NSCLC. However, further studies are needed to uncover the detailed mechanism that underlies the role of these proteins in NSCLC.
C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4; phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3; vascular endothelial growth factor; immunohistochemistry; prognosis; non-small cell lung cancer
To define the genetic basis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), characterized by right ventricular fibrofatty replacement and arrhythmias, causes sudden death. Autosomal dominant Inheritance, reduced penetrance, and 7 desmosome-encoding causative genes are known. The basis of low penetrance is poorly understood.
ARVC probands and family members were enrolled, blood obtained, lymphoblastoid cell lines immortalized, DNA extracted, PCR amplification of desmosome-encoding genes performed, PCR products sequenced and diseased tissue samples studied for intercellular junction protein distribution using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and antibodies against key proteins.
We identified 21 variants in plakophilin-2 (PKP2) in 38 of 198 probands (19%), including missense, nonsense, splice site, and deletion/insertion mutations. Pedigrees showed wide intra-familial variability (severe early-onset disease to asymptomatic individuals). In 9/38 probands, PKP2 variants were identified that were encoded in trans (compound heterozygosity). The 38 probands hosting PKP2 variants were screened for other desmosomal genes mutations; second variants (digenic heterozygosity) were identified in 16/38 subjects with PKP2 variants (42%) including desmoplakin (DSP, n=6), desmoglein-2 (DSG2, n=5), plakophilin-4 (PKP4, n=1), and desmocollin-2 (DSC2, n=1). Heterozygous mutations in non-PKP 2desmosomal genes occurred in 14/198 subjects (7%), including DSP (n=4), DSG2 (n=5), DSC2 (n=3), and junctional plakoglobin (JUP, n=2). All variants occurred in conserved regions; none were identified in 700 ethnic-matched controls.
Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated abnormalities of protein architecture.
These data suggest that the genetic basis of ARVC includes reduced penetrance with compound and digenic heterozygosity. Disturbed junctional cytoarchitecture in subjects with desmosomal mutations confirms that ARVC is a disease of the desmosome and cell junction.
Arrhythmias; Cardiomyopathies; Desmosomes; Intercalated Disks; Genetic Mutations
AIM: To investigate the role of intestinal mucosal blood flow (IMBF) and motility in the damage of intestinal mucosal barrier in rats with traumatic brain injury.
METHODS: Sixty-four healthy male Wistar rats were divided randomly into two groups: traumatic brain injury (TBI) group (n = 32), rats with traumatic brain injury; and control group (n = 32), rats with sham-operation. Each group was divided into four subgroups (n = 8) as 6, 12, 24 and 48 h after operation. Intestinal motility was measured by the propulsion ratio of a semi-solid colored marker (carbon-ink). IMBF was measured with the laser-Doppler technique. Endotoxin and D-xylose levels in plasma were measured to evaluate the change of intestinal mucosal barrier function following TBI.
RESULTS: The level of endotoxin was significantly higher in TBI group than in the control group at each time point (0.382 ± 0.014 EU/mL vs 0.102 ± 0.007 EU/mL, 0.466 ± 0.018 EU/mL vs 0.114 ± 0.021 EU/mL, 0.478 ± 0.029 EU/mL vs 0.112 ± 0.018 EU/mL and 0.412 ± 0.036 EU/mL vs 0.108 ± 0.011 EU/mL, P < 0.05). D-xylose concentrations in plasma in TBI group were significantly higher than in the control group (6.68 ± 2.37 mmol/L vs 3.66 ± 1.07 mmol/L, 8.51 ± 2.69 mmol /L vs 3.15 ± 0.95 mmol/L, 11.68 ± 3.24 mmol/L vs 3.78 ± 1.12 mmol/L and 10.23 ± 2.83 mmol/L vs 3.34 ± 1.23 mmol/ L, P < 0.05). The IMBF in TBI group was significantly lower than that in the control group (38.5 ± 2.8 PU vs 45.6 ± 4.6 PU, 25.2 ± 3.1 PU vs 48.2 ± 5.3 PU, 21.5 ± 2.7 PU vs 44.9 ± 2.8 PU, 29. 4 ± 3.8 PU vs 46.7 ± 3.2 PU) (P < 0.05). Significant decelerations of intestinal propulsion ratio in TBI groups were found compared with the control group (0.48% ± 0.06% vs 0.62% ± 0.03%, 0.37% ± 0.05% vs 0.64% ± 0.01%, 0.39% ± 0.07% vs 0.63% ± 0.05% and 0.46% ± 0.03% vs 0.65% ± 0.02%) (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The intestinal mucosal permeability is increased obviously in TBI rats. Decrease of intestinal motility and IMBF occur early in TBI, both are important pathogenic factors for stress-related damage of the intestinal mucosal barrier in TBI.
Traumatic brain injury; Intestinal mucosa barrier; Stress; Intestinal mucosa blood flow; Intestinal motility
asdA mutants of Gram-negative bacteria have an obligate requirement for diaminopimelic acid (DAP), which is an essential constituent of the peptidoglycan layer of the cell wall of these organisms. In environments deprived of DAP, i.e., animal tissues, they will undergo lysis. Deletion of the asdA gene has previously been exploited to develop antibiotic-sensitive strains of live attenuated recombinant bacterial vaccines. Introduction of an Asd+ plasmid into a ΔasdA mutant makes the bacterial strain plasmid-dependent. This dependence on the Asd+ plasmid vector creates a balanced-lethal complementation between the bacterial strain and the recombinant plasmid. E. ictaluri is an enteric Gram-negative fish pathogen that causes enteric septicemia in catfish. Because E. ictaluri is a nasal/oral invasive intracellular pathogen, this bacterium is a candidate to develop a bath/oral live recombinant attenuated Edwardsiella vaccine (RAEV) for the catfish aquaculture industry. As a first step to develop an antibiotic-sensitive RAEV strain, we characterized and deleted the E. ictaluri asdA gene. E. ictaluri ΔasdA01 mutants exhibit an absolute requirement for DAP to grow. The asdA gene of E. ictaluri was complemented by the asdA gene from Salmonella. Several Asd+ expression vectors with different origins of replication were transformed into E. ictaluri ΔasdA01. Asd+ vectors were compatible with the pEI1 and pEI2 E. ictaluri native plasmids. The balanced-lethal system was satisfactorily evaluated in vivo. Recombinant GFP, PspA, and LcrV proteins were synthesized by E. ictaluri ΔasdA01 harboring Asd+ plasmids. Here we constructed a balanced-lethal system, which is the first step to develop an antibiotic-sensitive RAEV for the aquaculture industry.
The cone beam CT (CBCT) guided radiation can reduce the systematic and random setup errors as compared to the skin-mark setup. However, the residual and intrafractional (RAIF) errors are still unknown. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the magnitude of RAIF errors and correction action levels needed in cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) guided accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI).
Ten patients were enrolled in the prospective study of CBCT guided APBI. The postoperative tumor bed was irradiated with 38.5 Gy in 10 fractions over 5 days. Two cone-beam CT data sets were obtained with one before and one after the treatment delivery. The CBCT images were registered online to the planning CT images using the automatic algorithm followed by a fine manual adjustment. An action level of 3 mm, meaning that corrections were performed for translations exceeding 3 mm, was implemented in clinical treatments. Based on the acquired data, different correction action levels were simulated, and random RAIF errors, systematic RAIF errors and related margins before and after the treatments were determined for varying correction action levels.
A total of 75 pairs of CBCT data sets were analyzed. The systematic and random setup errors based on skin-mark setup prior to treatment delivery were 2.1 mm and 1.8 mm in the lateral (LR), 3.1 mm and 2.3 mm in the superior-inferior (SI), and 2.3 mm and 2.0 mm in the anterior-posterior (AP) directions. With the 3 mm correction action level, the systematic and random RAIF errors were 2.5 mm and 2.3 mm in the LR direction, 2.3 mm and 2.3 mm in the SI direction, and 2.3 mm and 2.2 mm in the AP direction after treatments delivery. Accordingly, the margins for correction action levels of 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm and no correction were 7.9 mm, 8.0 mm, 8.0 mm, 7.9 mm and 8.0 mm in the LR direction; 6.4 mm, 7.1 mm, 7.9 mm, 9.2 mm and 10.5 mm in the SI direction; 7.6 mm, 7.9 mm, 9.4 mm, 10.1 mm and 12.7 mm in the AP direction, respectively.
Residual and intrafractional errors can significantly affect the accuracy of image-guided APBI with nonplanar 3DCRT techniques. If a 10-mm CTV-PTV margin is applied, a correction action level of 5 mm or less is necessary so as to maintain the RAIF errors within 10 mm for more than 95% of fractions. Pre-treatment CBCT guidance is not a guarantee for safe delivery of the treatment despite its known benefits of reducing the initial setup errors. A patient position verification and correction during the treatment may be a method for the safe delivery.
The aim of this study was to explore the role of farnesoid X receptor (FXR) in liver lipid metabolism of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients.
In this study, pathology and clinical criteria confirmed NAFLD in patients. Fatty acid synthetase (FAS)-positive liver cells were visualized by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Levels of FXR, liver X receptor (LXR), sterol regulatory element binding protein 1C (SREBP-1C), and small heterodimer partner (SHP) proteins were detected by Western blot. FXR, LXR, and SHP mRNA levels were measured by real-time PCR.
In patients with NAFLD, a significant positive relationship between the degree of hepatic steatosis and serum triglycerides and cholesterol (correlation coefficient > 0.5, P < 0.05) was seen. The NAFLD patients had more FAS protein in liver, which suggests that there could have been more of fatty acid synthesis in hepatic cells (P < 0.05). The levels of FXR protein and mRNA were decreased in patients with NAFLD (P < 0.05), while those of LXR and SREBP-1C were increased (P < 0.05). The levels of SREBP-1C positively correlated with the degree of hepatic steatosis. There were no differences between the levels of SHP protein and mRNA both in NAFLD patients and normal controls (P > 0.05).
Our data showed that the decreased expression of hepatic FXR is associated with an increased expression of LXR, SREBP-1C, and hepatic triglyceride synthesis; furthermore, increased SREBP-1C is associated with the degree of hepatic steatosis in the NAFLD patients.
FXR; Human; NAFLD; Lipid metabolism
Danon disease is an X-linked dominant disorder characterized by the clinical triad of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), skeletal myopathy and variable mental retardation. Pathologically, autophagic vacuoles are noted in both skeletal and cardiac muscle. It exhibits an X-linked dominant mode of inheritance and males are severely affected, while females develop milder and later-onset cardiac symptoms. Danon disease has been associated with mutations in the LAMP2 gene located at Xq24, typically resulting in splicing defects or protein truncation affecting the lysosome-associated membrane glycoprotein 2 (LAMP2). Because of its rarity, the full spectrum of genetic mutation resulting in Danon disease has not been elucidated.
Methods and Results
We analyzed three males with clinical and pathological findings consistent with Danon disease. Comprehensive mutational analysis failed to yield detectable products for selected LAMP2 exons and genomic DNA deletion was suspected. Genomic junction fragment PCR analysis in Case-1 identified a novel Alu-mediated 34kb microdeletion encompassing the entire 5’UTR and exon-1 of LAMP2. In Case-2 and -3, junctional PCR and Southern Blot analyses mapped the breakpoint to a MIRb and (TA)n simple repeats present in intron-3, which determined a 64kb and a 58Kb deletion, respectively, thereby ablating exons-4–10. Western blot analysis confirmed the absence of LAMP2 in protein extract from lymphocytes of index Case-2.
This is the first report of Danon disease caused by microdeletions at Xq24, which functionally ablate LAMP2. The microdeletion mechanism appears to involve one Alu-mediated unequal recombination and two chromosomal breakage points involving TA-rich repeat sequences.
LAMP2; HCM; Danon; Alu; (TA)n simple repeat; MIRb; MER21B; LIMA4A; Xq24; lysosome; vacuoles
Spermatogenesis is a complex process involving cell development, differentiation and apoptosis. This process is governed by a series of genes whose expressions are highly regulated. Male infertility can be attributed to multiple genetic defects or alterations that are related to spermatogenesis. The discovery, cloning and further functional study of genes related to spermatogenesis is of great importance to the elucidation of the molecular mechanism of spermatogenesis. It is also physiologically and pathologically significant to the therapy of male infertility.
GON-SJTU1 was identified and cloned from rat testis by cDNA library screening and 3'-and 5'-RACE. The products of GON-SJTU1 were assessed by Northern and Western blotting. The expression of GON-SJTU1 was also examined by In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.
Here we identified and cloned a new gene, GON-SJTU1, with the biological process of spermatogenesis. GON-SJTU1 is highly expressed in the testis from day 1 to 15 and then decreased, suggesting that GON-SJTU1 might be a time-related gene and involved in the early stage of spermatogenesis. And the expression of GON-SJTU1 in the testis occurred in some male germ cells, particularly in gonocytes and spermatogonial stem cells.
GON-SJTU1 may play a role in the biological process of spermatogenesis.
DC-SIGNR (also called CD209L) has been extensively studied on its role in host genetic predisposition to viral infection. In particular, variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) of the neck-region of DC-SIGNR is highly polymorphic and the polymorphism has been investigated for genetic predisposition to various infectious diseases, though conflicting results had been reported. As infection is a major cause of human death and a mechanism of natural selection, we hypothesized that VNTR polymorphism of DC-SIGNR might have an effect on human life span.
Here we collected 361 peri-centenarian individuals (age ≥94 for female and age ≥90 for male) and 342 geographically matched controls (age 22-53, mean 35.0 ± 12.0) from Han Chinese. The VNTR polymorphism of the neck region was determined by PCR and genotype was called by separating the PCR products in agarose gel.
A total of 11 genotypes and 5 alleles were found in our population. The genotype distribution, allele frequencies and homozygote proportion did not show a significant difference between peri-centenarian and control group. As gender differences in lifespan are ubiquitously observed throughout the animal kingdom, we then stratified the samples by gender. There was more 6/7 genotypes in female peri-centenarian group than that in female control group, at a marginal level of significance (5.56 vs. 1.28%, p = 0.041). The difference was not significant after correction by Bonferroni method. It suggests a possible differential effect of DC-SIGNR VNTR genotypes between sexes. Further studies are warranted to confirm our preliminary findings and investigate the mechanisms of the underlying functions.
Our study indicated that there was absence of association between the neck region polymorphism of DC-SIGNR and longevity in Han Chinese population. But the question of whether the DC-SIGNR could affect longevity in a gender-specific pattern remains open.
The apoptotic programme is evolutionarily conserved between yeast and metazoan organisms. We have previously identified a number of mammalian cDNAs capable of suppressing the deleterious effects of Bax expression in yeast. We herein report that one such suppressor, named Tsc22(86), represents the C-terminal 86 amino acids of the previously characterized leucine zipper (LZ) motif-containing transcriptional regulator Tsc22. Employing a genome-wide two-hybrid screen, functional genomics, and deletion mutagenesis approaches, we conclude that Tsc22(86)-mediated antiapoptosis is independent of the LZ motif and is likely independent of effects on gene transcription. Rather, a 16-residue sequence within the conserved 56-residue TSC22 domain is necessary for antiapoptosis. The presence of a similar sequence was used to predict an antiapoptotic role for two yeast proteins, Sno1p and Fyv10p. Overexpression and knock-out experiments were used to validate this prediction. These findings demonstrate the potential of studying heterologous proteins in yeast to uncover novel biological insights into the regulation of apoptosis.
TSC22; yeast; leucine zipper; antiapoptosis; FYV10; SNO1
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, C13H10FNO2, contains two crystallographically independent molecules. The aromatic rings are oriented at dihedral angles of 61.77 (3) and 53.94 (3)° in the two molecules. An N—H⋯O hydrogen bond links the molecules. In the crystal structure, intermolecular N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the molecules into chains. Weak C—H⋯π interactions are also present.
Surface display of heterologous peptides and proteins such as receptors, antigens, and enzymes on live bacterial cells is of considerable value for various biotechnological and industrial applications. In this study, a series of novel cell surface display systems were examined by using Vibrio anguillarum outer membrane protein and outer membrane lipoprotein as anchoring motifs. These display systems consist of (i) the signal sequence and first 11 N-terminal amino acids of V. anguillarum outer membrane lipoprotein Wza, or the signal sequence and first 9 N-terminal amino acids of the mature major Escherichia coli lipoprotein Lpp, and (ii) transmembrane domains of V. anguillarum outer membrane proteins Omporf1, OmpU, or Omp26La. In order to assay the translocation efficiency of constructed display systems in bacteria, green fluorescent protein (GFP) was inserted to the systems and the results of GFP surface localization confirmed that four of the six surface display systems could successfully display GFP on the E. coli surface. For assaying its potential application in live bacteria carrier vaccines, an excellent display system Wza-Omporf1 was fused with the major capsid protein (MCP) of large yellow croaker iridovirus and introduced into attenuated V. anguillarum strain MVAV6203, and subsequent analysis of MCP surface localization proved that the novel display system Wza-Omporf1 could function as a strong tool in V. anguillarum carrier vaccine development.